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Think a minute...We’ve all heard the expressions: “Like father, like son” and “The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.” This is because they are so often true. Two families in America were studied for many generations. One was the Max Jukes family and the other the Jonathan Edwards family. What was discovered is compelling evidence that the way we live every day has a powerful, lasting impact on our children, grandchildren, and our many other descendants who follow us.   

Max Jukes was a man who did not believe in God or strong principles of right and wrong. Naturally he married a woman like himself. More than 1,200 of their descendants were studied for generations: 310 became professional beggars; 440 died of sexually transmitted diseases; 130 were sent to prison, 7 of them for murder; over 100 became alcoholics; 60 became professional thieves and robbers; and 190 became prostitutes. Only 20 learned a profession, and 10 of those learned their trade in prison. 

Jonathan Edwards was a man who lived under the authority and principles of Christ, so he chose to marry a woman who also had a close, personal relationship with Jesus. Their descendants were studied over generations: 300 of them became Christian ministers, missionaries, and theology professors; over 100 others became university professors; another 100 became lawyers and attorneys; 30 became judges; 60 became medical doctors; another 60 became writers of published books; 14 became presidents of universities; many others became successful business people; 3 became United States congressmen; and 1 became the Vice President of the United States. 

It is a clear, and sometimes convicting, fact that our children end up following our example much more than they follow our advice. “What they see, they will be.” You cannot train up your child in the way that you are not going yourself! But you can change and start going that way today—by asking your Creator to forgive you for your wrong heart and sinful living. Then ask Jesus to take charge so He can start changing your heart and character. As you live His way every day, you will show your children the successful, true way of life. Then they will teach their children, who will also teach their children. Remember, “Well-trained children grow up to train their children well.”  Just think a minute…

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